Monday’s public holiday meeting at Warwick Farm will see Azuro return to the track for the first time since his unlucky placing in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
Held up at crucial stages early in the straight when jockey Mark Zahra was searching for galloping room, he savaged the line once finally clear at the furlong, finishing just half a length behind El Don and High Bridge in 3rd position. The form from the race has been franked since, following the breakthrough win of fellow OTI runner High Bridge at Flemington last Saturday.
Stepping out in the Listed Australia Day Cup over 2400m (Race 5 – 3:40pm AEDT), Azuro has drawn barrier six in the nine-horse field with Tommy Berry (59kg) securing the ride. Given the Bagot run came off a seven-week freshen up, good improvement has been derived and we head in confident of a strong showing.
The Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie shapes as Azuro’s first major goal this autumn. As a two time Listed winner over the distance of last year’s Queensland & Sandown Cups, it appears a suitable target for a horse with his proven staying credentials.
We look forward to seeing him run right up to form on Monday and wish connections the best of luck in what shapes as a lovely race for him.